Sleep and Other Drugs

Lately, Emi has been going two or three days sleeping only about nine hours, then she’ll crash for 12+ for a day or two. On her worst nights she cries all night while I hold her, all I can do is sleepily comfort her, let her know I am there. Some times she sleeps through the night (in fact more and more she does) and sometimes she wakes up and drags her pillow to our bed if she isn’t already in it. Getting her to sleep is the real trick, sometimes it takes two minutes sometimes it takes two hours. But all of that being said, it gets better every month and we’re making it through, we’ve survived inspite of it.

After two years of parenting a very bright, independant, happy, secure child, (who was also a very unhappy, high strung, overstimulated, attached infant) I’ve learned a lot of things. One of those lessons is that some kids don’t sleep well. Period. It doesn’t matter what you try, whether you cry it out or co-sleep; floor beds, routines, cribs, lavender, melatonin, fans, white noise, blankets, no blankets — IT DOES NOT MATTER. It’s not your fault, it’s doesn’t make you a bad parent. It’s just the way your child is. That’s not something anyone has ever told me. In fact, I’ve only heard the opposite. That I needed to figure out the secret to my child’s perfect night of sleep. So I’m saying it to you, whoever you are reading this through burning eyes, half derranged and barely holding it together, it’s not your fault. Survive this night the best you can, fill up on caffeine if you need to, and keep your chin up. Tommorrow may suck too, and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, but eventually things will change and it’s not going to be something you can do all that much about.

Sometimes I lose sight of the progress she’s made when it’s 11 pm for the third day in a row and she’s yelling “Emi go fast!” while running circles around my bedroom. Then she lays on my chest while I play with her hair and tells me she loves me over and over while I coax her gently and lovingly into sleep and I find a little redemption, for her and for me. I do the best I can and I love her through all of it, and that’s all that matters.


Sleep and Other Drugs

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